HPE, Samsung invest in quantum startup Classiq

Signs that interest in the market is ramping up

Quantum computing startup Classiq has raised $33m in a Series B funding round from investors including HPE and Samsung, a sign that interest in the emerging market may be stirring.

Tel Aviv-based Classiq provides a platform to help developers with algorithm design work for quantum software. The firm contends that coding at the quantum gate level works today, when most quantum systems only support a relatively small number of qubits and code is largely experimental, but this approach will not scale once algorithms start to require more than a few qubits.

Classiq has previously secured seed funding from Entrée Capital, which was then joined by Wing VC, Team8, IN Venture and OurCrowd in a $10.5m Series A round at the start of 2021.

The Series B round sees the existing investors joined by Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, the venture capital arm of HPE, plus Samsung NEXT, the investment arm of Samsung. Others include Phoenix, Spike Ventures, and a Stanford alumni investor group.

In total, the funding rounds have netted Classiq $48m in just 20 months of existence, according to the firm. The addition of big names such as HPE and Samsung points to the growing interest in quantum computing field, especially where a startup may have a unique angle.

A recent study published by Hyperion Research forecasts that the global market for quantum computing systems is set to expand at an annual rate of 21.9 per cent to reach approximately $888m between now and 2024.

Classiq said it will use its new funds on ambitious expansion plans. It aims to quadruple the size of the company, growing its team of engineers and researchers, and opening new offices around the globe.

"This new funding comes at a pivotal time. The quantum industry is now moving from consulting services to quantum products and from prototyping to production," Classiq co-founder and CEO Nir Minerbi said in a statement. "With this funding, we will expand upon our work to become the platform on which forward-thinking organisations develop game-changing quantum software that makes the impossible possible."

Classiq's Quantum Algorithm Design (QAD) platform provides high-level functional modelling of quantum circuits, allowing developers to combine its built-in quantum modules with user-defined ones, and is capable of delivering an optimised quantum circuit that would have taken weeks to build manually, the firm claims.

The Classiq platform outputs an agnostic quantum circuit, described in any gate-level programming language, such as Qiskit, Q#, Cirq, and others. The platform also includes pre-configured integrations for the major quantum cloud providers, including IBM, Amazon Braket, and Azure Quantum. ®

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